Global Women Supply Chain Leaders Awards 2020 (GWSCL 2020) is the first global event to shine the spotlight on the dedication, passion, and incredible success stories of women in the supply chain – cross-domain and from around the world. The 3-day mega event, starting from September 22, will be packed with panel discussions, live Q&A, keynote speeches and loads of networking opportunities. This will finally culminate in the virtual awards ceremony on September 24 @ 6 PM.
Following is the interview conducted with Panida Chinayone, VP Supply Chain Excellence – PTT Global Chemical (Thailand).
- How did you decide to pursue a career in supply chain?
Upon graduating with a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, I joined the Oil & Gas sector where I had the choice to pursue a role in either chemical engineering or supply chain management. I chose the supply chain domain as it acts as an interface between the two choices I had to make.
After 20+ years’ experience in petrochemicals across all divisions (refinery, aromatics, olefins, polymer, EG/EA and phenols), I am happy to say that I made the right choice. Supply chain is at the heart of the company and it allows you to connect with people from all other disciplines. I have enjoyed understanding how supply chain management can help to overcome risks as well as improve our company performance.
- What is your greatest career accomplishment?
Faced by a volatile petrochemical market in 2017, I was tasked with the responsibility to make significant margin improvements with the objective of achieving better bottom line performance. I led a team which implemented multiple initiatives ranging from cost reduction, facility utilization to integrated value chain optimization. To achieve this, we started with a bottom-up workshop to identify such initiatives. Initiative owners were assigned and process flow was scripted out in a way so as to ensure that the initiatives were aligned and did not conflict at any point. Within 3 years, my team had achieved a 40% margin improvementof overall company, representing 10.5 Billion THB. —à is this good to specify the number?
- What contribution have you made to the supply chain industry/ your organization that is most meaningful to you?
I led the creation of a supply chain platform which was based on a roadmap to achieve the best in class supply chain management. The platform focuses on 3 areas: people competency and development, supply chain tools, and work processes for within SCM and across other functions. These are all built in with continuous improvement metrics. We included proper training programs for our supply chain analysts, improve work process to be more efficient and effective and built an extended roadmap to include more predictive analytics and automation to the relevant SCM tools.
Though I am no longer in charge of overseeing the platform, I take pride in the fact that it has created a noticeable improvement in the users’ work-life balance. Proper workflow processes and efficient tools allow users to create value and contribute their best for the organization.
- Your thoughts on how the industry has changed for women from the time you started your supply chain journey?
There are more women studying Chemical Engineering and working in Oil and Gas sector today compared to the time when I started my career. In the last 20 years, I have witnessed a big change in how companies in Thailand, and generally in Asia as well, are promoting women for high level management positions, across industries. For PTT Group itself in the last 20 years, there has been a major increase from 0% of women in leadership positions to 20% today. I am happy with this trend as any position should be occupied by the best person available, regardless of their gender.
The number of women leaders is still low compared to men, and that can get lonely at times. However, I have had a good experience working with men – they are polite, kind and listen to your opinion. If you can demonstrate your capabilities and show results, it helps to build trust and respect.
- What do you think companies can do to make supply chain careers more attractive to women?
Companies can make these careers more attractive to women by showing these jobs are one of the most important positions in a company – most companies have material and supply costs as the biggest portion of COGS and this counts for big impact to a company’s performance. Supply chain management is very interesting, complex and challenging. It gives you a chance to connect with people across functions, and learn about the impact made across the business.
Women could also possibly have a bigger impact than men. Supply chain is about developing relationships with suppliers, creating win-win scenarios for the long term and leading the front end of a business, which is more influenced by soft skills such as negotiation and empathy – which women are naturally good at. This is something companies need to first understand themselves, and then promote.
- If you could do one thing to leave your mark on the supply chain industry, what would it be?
I hope to write a white paper on the positive impact of good supply chain management in the petroleum and petrochemical industry and how to properly make it happen in the 21st century. Finding the time to do so would be the biggest challenge here!
- How would you use this recognition to influence others and how would it impact your career?
Firstly, I am proud to get this recognition, and it motivates me to continue to deliver my best towards my organization’s growth. This would also help to create new networks across industries, helping to share as well as learn others’ experiences and best practices.
I also would like to use this award to demonstrate how women can achieve equally, or even more, than men. Supply chain is an exciting arena for women professionals, and it only takes hard work and determination to achieve success – just like for any other field.
If you want to know more about the top women leaders in the supply chain industry, register now at https://gwscl.b2g-consulting.com/gwscl-main-page